where is the edge of madness?

I want to know what madness is,

and where its edges and beginnings are.

what path does a twisted mind travel

that can explain taking pride

in the slaying of innocents

what slight was so great that

it warrants wanton murder100_4054

I cannot, nor can most of us, fathom it.  Yet, I must explore my own reaction to the carnage I witness daily through the remorselessly intense media coverage of such events.  What do I feel?  I feel a mad and all-consuming rage.  I cannot talk of the scenes I saw and heard about without moist eyes and a thickening throat.

Thoughts, like turgid dirty waters, wend their way through my mind.  Drawing and quartering is too good for him.  I’m glad he’s dead;  if he’d lived I’d hope he’d never make it to the  courtroom, that he’d be blown away and rendered so much bloody pulp upon the pavement.  I’m not alone in these thoughts.  I’ve heard them voiced out loud.  I can only nod – I understand.  Our thoughts are so unclean, so unkind, and yet how like our kind – humankind.

There dwells in each of us the potential for murder and mayhem – good and evil.  We daily foray.  We parry and weigh the outcomes.  It is a fine line between love and hate; tolerance and rage; life and death; sanity and insanity.

Even the cloak of christian charity and forgiveness is thin and tattered comfort against the gale that assails this land of ours.  Will we add our venomous breath to that assault?  Will we allow our judgement to falter, or can we maintain the grace to meet out justice?  Can we take a page from gospel, and forgive him for his crime and ourselves for contemplating in kind?

I have no answer, only questions.  I want to know.  Where is the edge of madness, that I might skirts it farthest hem, and gods forbid I venture in.  If I do, where will it end?

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